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Archive for July, 2011

Gaddafi is Stronger Than Ever in Libya.

The fact Gaddafi has survived the rebellions and Nato bombing undermines the simplistic view of a hated tyrant clinging on.

   Friday 29th July 2011  guardian.co.uk,   Full Article Here:-

Libya demonstration

Supporters of Muammar Gaddafi participate in a demonstration in Tripoli, Libya, 28 July 2011.
Photograph: Hamza Turkia/XinHua/Xinhua Press/Corbis

The war on Libya has not gone well. Kim Sengupta’s report on Wednesday detailed this starkly:

“Fresh diplomatic efforts are under way to try to end Libya’s bloody civil war, with the UN special envoy flying to Tripoli to hold talks after Britain followed France in accepting that Muammar Gaddafi cannot be bombed into exile.

The change of stance by the two most active countries in the international coalition is an acceptance of realities on the ground. Despite more than four months of sustained air strikes by Nato, the rebels have failed to secure any military advantage. Colonel Gaddafi has survived what observers perceive as attempts to eliminate him and, despite the defection of a number of senior commanders, there is no sign that he will be dethroned in a palace coup.

The regime controls around 20% more territory than it did in the immediate aftermath of the uprising on 17 February.”

If the Gaddafi regime is now more in control of Libya than before, then this completely undermines the simplistic view put about by the supporters of war – and unfortunately by some elements of the resistance – that the situation was simply one of a hated tyrant hanging on through mercenary violence. Of course, he uses whatever resources he has at his disposal, but a) it would seem that the involvement of imperialism has driven some Libyans back into the Gaddafi camp, as it’s unlikely he would maintain control without some degree of support, and b) we know that rebellious sectors started to go back to Gaddafi within mere weeks of the revolt taking off, meaning in part that his resources of legitimising his regime were not exhausted even before the US-led intervention. Despite the defections, he has consolidated his regime in a way that would have seemed improbable in the early weeks of revolt.

It’s important to bear in mind what this means. Both Ben Ali and Mubarak had the support of the US and its major allies – especially Mubarak. They had considerable resources for repression, and there was financial aid being channelled to them, talks aimed at offering reforms to the opposition … and in the end they proved too brittle, too narrowly based, to stay in power.

The state apparatus began to fragment and decompose. The protests kept spreading, and withstood the bloodshed. Nothing they could offer or threaten was sufficient. Gaddafi, on the other hand, has hung on in the face of not only a lack of support from his former imperialist allies, but active political, diplomatic and military opposition. That he did so to a considerable extent through sheer military superiority doesn’t mean that the regime hasn’t a real social basis.

ALSO SEE:-

Arguing Libya  By William Blum   Find Article Here:-

On July 9th, I took part in a demonstration in front of the White House, the theme of which was “Stop Bombing Libya”. The last time I had taken part in a protest against US bombing of a foreign country, which the White House was selling as “humanitarian intervention”, as they are now, was in 1999 during the 78-day bombing of Serbia. At that time I went to a couple of such demonstrations and both times I was virtually the only American there. The rest, maybe two dozen, were almost all Serbs. “Humanitarian intervention” is a great selling device for imperialism, particularly in the American market. Americans are desperate to renew their precious faith that the United States means well, that we are still “the good guys”.

Horrors Of NATO Butchery Of Libya Revealed by Susan Lindauer.  Find Article Here:-

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Categories: News of the moment

Digging dirt on Scotland Yard: spiked stories of Michael Gillard & Laurie Flynne.

29th July 2011.   Find Article Here:-

Former Guardian investigative journalists Michael Gillard and Laurie Flynne were investigating Scotland Yard back in 1999 and 2000 but had their stories spiked. They finally published their shocking book Untouchables, Dirty Cops, Bent Justice and Racism in Scotland Yard in 2004.

 http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/53441

Untouchables is an integrity test on Scotland Yard. It is the result of a six-year investigation into how the most powerful police force in the United Kingdom claims to tackle corruption, racism and mismanagement within its own ranks. In 1993, the Yard set up a secret anti-corruption operation run by undercover cops whose existence was known to only a few senior officers. The Ghost Squad operated for five years – spying, lying and concealing information – with no independent oversight. In 1998, its shadowy detectives went public as the Untouchables – their motto: ‘Integrity is Non-Negotiable’. Commissioner Sir John Stevens promised they would bring bent and unethical colleagues to justice. But instead of thorough corruption investigations, there was corruption management. Instead of justice and accountability, there was cover-up. Based on official documents and over 1,000 interviews – with criminals, supergrasses, police whistleblowers, former anti-corruption officers and judges, many of whom have never spoken out before, let alone on the record – Untouchables is in the best tradition of hard-hitting expose journalism, naming names and packed with revelations.

It tells the secret history surrounding the Jill Dando case and the key unsolved murders of Daniel Morgan, David Norris, Stephen Lawrence and Rachel Nickell. The authors also expose the buried history of the biggest armed robbery in British criminal history ? the 26 million Brinks Mat gold bullion heist, which is still dogging Scotland Yard on its 21st anniversary. Untouchables presents a timely and well-evidenced case for a fully independent system of policing the police.

Categories: News of the moment

The Top Ten U.S. Corporate Tax Avoiders.

BURLINGTON, Vt., March 27th 2011 – By Bernie Sanders  Full Article and Video Here:-

Tax Time?  Not for Giant Corporations.

While hard working Americans fill out their income tax returns this tax season, General Electric and other giant profitable corporations are avoiding U.S. taxes altogether.

With Congress returning to Capitol Hill on Monday to debate steep spending cuts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations must do their share to help bring down our record-breaking deficit.

Sanders renewed his call for shared sacrifice after it was reported that General Electric and other major corporations paid no U.S. taxes after posting huge profits. Sanders said it is grossly unfair for congressional Republicans to propose major cuts to Head Start, Pell Grants, the Social Security Administration, nutrition grants for pregnant low-income women and the Environmental Protection Agency while ignoring the reality that some of the most profitable corporations pay nothing or almost nothing in federal income taxes.

Sanders compiled a list of some of some of the 10 worst corporate income tax avoiders.

1)      Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009.  Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

2)      Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

3)      Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

4)      Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

5)      Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

6)      Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

7)      Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

8)      Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

9)      ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

10)  Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

Sanders has called for closing corporate tax loopholes and eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies. He also introduced legislation to impose a 5.4 percent surtax on millionaires that would yield up to $50 billion a year. The senator has said that spending cuts must be paired with new revenue so the federal budget is not balanced solely on the backs of working families.

“We have a deficit problem. It has to be addressed,” Sanders said, “but it cannot be addressed on the backs of the sick, the elderly, the poor, young people, the most vulnerable in this country.  The wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country have got to contribute. We’ve got to talk about shared sacrifice.”

Source – Senator Bernie Sanders

Categories: News of the moment

Libyan aid and investment projects in Africa.

Wednesday November 24th, 2010 (Reuters)  Find Full Article Here:-

Libya is using money from oil exports to pour aid and investment into its African neighbours, a policy which diplomats and analysts say gives it increasing political clout on the continent.

The following is a selection of the initiatives Libya has already put in place in Africa, as well as some of the projects it is planning. For the story, click on [ID:nLDE6AH1S8]

 GADDAFI’S PLEDGE

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said earlier this year he was offering to invest $97 billion in the continent to free it from Western influence, on condition that African states rid themselves of corruption and nepotism. That sum is about the amount Libya holds in foreign currency reserves, according to official data. Libyan officials have given no further details about Gaddafi’s offer.

SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND

Libya has put $65 billion into sovereign wealth funds, including one which is specifically designed to make investments in Africa. The Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP) was launched with $5 billion in capital, but it is not clear how much cash it holds now. LAP this year helped set up a London asset management firm, called FM Capital Partners. The head of the firm says it will invest about 40 percent of the Libyan assets it has under management in African projects. [ID:nLDE67424Y]

Another of the fund’s projects is LAP Green Networks, a mobile phone operator which says it has commercial operations in Niger, Ivory coast, Uganda and Rwanda and is planning to launch operations soon in Chad, Sierra Leone, Togo and southern Sudan.

LAP is also the main shareholder in Afriqiyah Airways. Its name is the Arabic for Africa and it says its mission is to link African states to each other. It operates routes that are poorly served by major airlines. Destinations include Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Bangui in Central African Republic and Douala in Cameroon.

AFRICAN UNION

Libya is one of the biggest contributors to the budget of the African Union, the 53-country body which is supposed to function along the lines of the European Union. A senior Libyan diplomat told Reuters Libya is one of five countries — the others are Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa — which cover 75 percent of the union’s budget. “Libya … makes its full required contribution to AU funds. Not all countries do and that buys it influence,” a senior African Union official said.

Categories: News of the moment

Spain’s youth battle unemployment.

With a 40 per cent unemployment rate, Spain’s youth find alternative ways to find work.
Al Jazeera’s Emma Hayward reports from the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, 31st July 2011.
Spain has the highest unemployment rate in Europe, with one in three young people out of work, and there are few sectors of society that have managed to escape the global economic downturn.

Unemployment in the Canary Islands is higher than anywhere else in Spain, and it is particularly difficult for those that are young.
But, despite the lack of opportunities, some are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to find work.

Categories: News of the moment

Atheist Toast

This is pretty incredible, nothing was spotted on a piece of toast. You’d think there would at least be some sort of blob resembling someone’s delusions.

Atheist Toast

 

Dutch Band Attacked By IDF For Bringing Happiness To Palestinian Children

By Madison Ruppert, Editor of End the Lie And Intel Hub Contributing Writer  July 30th, 2011.

Find Full Article Here:-

A 25-piece Dutch street band has been traveling through the embattled West Bank for two weeks now, enlivening and engaging the downtrodden Palestinian people.

What do they get in return? Lungs full of tear gas.

Today the Palestine News Network reported that tens of Israeli Army Soldiers fired tear gas canisters at the Amsterdman-based Dutch street orchestra called Fanfare van de Eerste Liefdesnacht, which means “the First Night of Love Brass Band” during their performance.

When they were attacked, the band was playing in the northern West Bank villiage of Kufr Qadum, near Nablus.

This village is mostly Palestinian but has suffered recent attacks from radical Jewish colonists.

The people of Kufr Qadum have been victims of arson, physical violence, and destruction of property. There are also Israeli military checkpoints regularly erected around the roads leading in and out of the village.

The brave Dutch musicians have been travelling around the West Bank, visiting various villages, towns, and refugee camps. Their shows are interactive and engaging, and involve working with Palestinian children from a refugee camp east of Bethlehem.

The performers play along with the children and dance in the streets together, bringing joy to the lives of children who live in constant poverty with the fear of death at the hands of Israeli extremists.

Kufr Qadum is just one of the many villages that are being actively targeted by illegal Israeli settlers who, in direct opposition to international law, steal the land of the Palestinian people.

Categories: News of the moment